Wilf Carter made the decision to run for mayor of the City of Whitehorse this year after, he says, “about 2,000 people asked me to.”
Carter will once again face off against Mayor Dan Curtis, who has confirmed plans to run in this fall’s municipal election.
The two last ran against each other in the 2015 election. Carter netted 835 votes compared to Curtis’s 4,640. The remaining 437 votes went to the only other candidate, Mandeep Sidhu.
No one else has yet announced plans to run for mayor.
Carter told the News on May 17 that, after 2015, he wasn’t certain he’d run again. He had some “health issues (he) wanted to mull over first.” This month though, he announced his plans via facebook.
The social media platform is one he thinks will help him this time around. Carter says he’s spent the last couple years building up his social media circle and he plans to campaign via that platform.
He also plans to keep in touch with people’s concerns that way. Facebook is one of the ways he says he already hears about issues that are important to Whitehorse residents.
For instance, he says one of the things that’s come up a lot lately is the $500,000 development incentive the city recently approved for Northern Vision Development to build a 44-unit condo project on the waterfront in Whitehorse.
“The city should not be giving $500,000 to a developer working on a $25 million project,” he says. “If the margins are that tight, you don’t build it.”
Carter says he considers housing to be a priority issue in Whitehorse, but he doesn’t think high-end condo development is the solution to the problem.
He also thinks offering an incentive to NVD illustrates what he considers to be another big problem with the way city hall is currently run — overspending. Carter takes issue with the $55 million being allocated to a new municipal operations building.
An advocate of electric buses, Carter doesn’t agree with spending that kind of money on a building that will, down the road, house gas-powered buses that need to run all night in the winter to stay warm.
Carter highlights his time as the former chief administrative officer of Teslin, his former position as director of housing for Champagne and Aishihik First Nations, and what he says is 25 years working across Canada in fields including forestry, commerce and project management.
“I have experience in this stuff,” he says. “It’s easy for me.”
Carter also says leadership is a major concern of his, both as a resident of Whitehorse, and as a candidate going into this election.
“The senior staff is totally dysfunctional in the office there,” says Carter, citing the shuffling of staff at city hall in recent years. “People are fired, people quit, people leave and there’s just no leadership.”
“The first thing I would do when I got into office is order an efficiency audit of our operations.”
“It’s time to put some common sense back into government,” he says.
Carter said his campaign will also prioritize infrastructure including water, sewers and roads.
Whitehorse residents go to the polls Oct. 18.
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